The South Carolina Picture Book Award nominees are chosen to encourage students to read good quality contemporary literature. Each title is appropriate for a 4K-3 grade level. Visit SCASL's SC Picture Book Award page to learn more about past nominees and other materials.
When Hudson Talbott was a little boy, he loved drawing, and it came naturally to him. But reading? No way! One at a time, words weren't a problem, but long sentences were a struggle. As his friends moved on to thicker books, he kept his slow reading a secret. But that got harder every year. He felt alone, lost, and afraid in a world of too many words. Fortunately, his love of stories wouldn't let him give up. He started giving himself permission to read at his own pace, using the words he knew as stepping-stones to help draw him into a story. And he found he wasn't so alone--in fact, lots of brilliant people were slow readers, too. Learning to accept the fact that everyone does things in their own unique way, and that was okay, freed him up and ultimately helped Hudson thrive and become the fabulous storyteller he is today.
Acorn is a little wild, and from his oak tree perch, he longs for adventure. When he’s the first of his friends to jump off the oak tree, he’s on his way into the wide world, full of new experiences that fill his little heart with excitement!
But when a squirrel buries Acorn deep underground, the thrill-seeking Acorn finds himself forced to stay still, in the darkness, for a long time. To turn this biggest setback into a wild adventure, Acorn may have to change from the inside out.
Hilarity and chaos ensue as two Black dads and their three racially diverse children realize that the clock is ticking and the house must be cleaned before Grandma arrives for a visit. There’s a lot to be done. Daddy spells out who will do what in alphabet magnets on the fridge: “Bobby, mop the floor. Dad will scrub the dishes. I’ll vacuum the rug. Sarah, feed the fishes. Dad will mow the lawn, and Sarah, sweep the mat. Bobby, rock the baby, and I’ll bathe the cat.” “Bathe the cat?” thinks the orange feline, eye twitching. With a few swipes of its paw, the letters are rearranged—and so are the chores. The family assumes their nonsensical duties: Sarah feeds the floor. Daddy sweeps the dishes. Bobby rocks the rug, and Dad scrubs the fishes. But when it comes time to “mow the cat,” the cat hastily works its magic on the letters once again. Tasks get increasingly bizarre: “Sarah, mop the Bobby! … I mean, Bobby bathe the bathtub! Sarah, Bob the mat! Dad will feed the lawnmower! And I’ll catch the cat!” The cat thus secured, Daddy sets the magnets straight, and the family tidies up just in time for Grandma’s arrival.
When her gym class must face the school rock-climbing wall, Tanisha is discouraged. Her muscles are weak, and she knows she'll never reach the top like Cayla.
But maybe strength is about more than just muscles.
With help from her family, Tanisha learns that by showing up, speaking up, and not giving up, she can be strong, too. And that people are the strongest when they work together and trust each other.
Welcome to Chez Bob, which seems like a real restaurant...until you realize...it's on an alligator's NOSE! Bob's got a hidden plan for his customers: "Birds will come to eat, but I will eat the birds!" As they fly in from all over the world to dine on Bob's face, something starts to happen that takes the lazy, hungry reptile by surprise -- the birds stay. "More yummy birds!" he rejoices -- he'll want for nothing! But when the time is right, will Bob make the right choice?
Elsie can't wait to go to her first father-daughter dance. She picked out the perfect dress and has been practicing swirling and swaying in her wheelchair. Elsie's heart pirouettes as she prepares for her special night. With gestures, smiles, and words from a book filled with pictures, she shares her excitement with her family. But when a winter storm comes, she wonders if she'll get the chance to spin and dance her way to a dream come true.
Doug doesn't like hugs. He thinks hugs are too squeezy, too squashy, too squooshy, too smooshy. He doesn't like hello hugs or goodbye hugs, game-winning home run hugs or dropped ice cream cone hugs, and he definitely doesn't like birthday hugs. He'd much rather give a high five--or a low five, a side five, a double five, or a spinny five. Yup, some people love hugs; other people don't. So how can you tell if someone likes hugs or not? There's only one way to find out: Ask! Because everybody gets to decide for themselves whether they want a hug or not.
It's Dat's first day of school in a new country! Dat and his Mah made a long journey to get here, and Dat doesn't know the language. To Dat, everything everybody says – from the school bus driver to his new classmates – sounds like gibberish. How is Dat going to make new friends if they can’t understand each other?
Luckily there's a friendly girl in Dat's class who knows that there are other ways to communicate, besides just talking. Could she help make sense of the gibberish?
It's been two hundred and five days since Henry has had peace. That's because it's been two hundred and five days since Marvin has come to live with him. Marvin, who loves to talk in the tunnels, talk while they're eating, talk while they're running. Marvin, who drives Henry up the cage walls. But when Henry finally loses his cool and gets exactly what he wanted, both hamsters have to figure out a way to live together and work through their communication mishaps.
A young boy's favorite place in the world is the old, splintery neighborhood dock. At this dock the boy can swim, fish, or watch minnows dart between the rocks. But a hurricane is coming...and its violent winds and rain carry with it anything that can float.
He's just a cute little unicorn who wants to take over the world.
Special Agent Bubble07 is undercover on planet Earth. His mission: to decide whether his team of alien unicorns should invade Earth. Posing as a stuffed animal, he infiltrates the home of Earthling Daughter, where he puts up with dog slobber, tea parties, and show and tell. Will the unicorn blow his cover and call for backup? Or will his alien heart be won over by storytime, snow days, and snuggles?
Since the day he hatched, Owl dreamed of becoming a real knight. He may not be the biggest or the strongest, but his sharp nocturnal instincts can help protect the castle, especially since many knights have recently gone missing. While holding guard during Knight Night Watch, Owl is faced with the ultimate trial—a frightening intruder. It’s a daunting duel by any measure. But what Owl lacks in size, he makes up for in good ideas.
When a boy is FINALLY allowed to get a cat, he has no doubts about which one to bring home from the shelter. But Max the cat isn’t quite what the family expected. He shuns the toy mouse, couldn’t care less about the hand-knitted sweater, and spends most of his time facing the wall. One by one, the family gives up on Max, but the boy loves his negative cat so much, he’ll do anything to keep him. Even the thing he dreads most: practicing his reading. Which, as it turns out, makes everything positive!
When Nigel looks up at the moon, his future is bright. He imagines himself as...an astronaut, a dancer, a superhero, too!
Among the stars, he twirls. With pride, his chest swells. And his eyes, they glow. Nigel is the most brilliant body in the sky.
But it's Career Week at school, and Nigel can't find the courage to share his dreams. It's easy to whisper them to the moon, but not to his classmates--especially when he already feels out of place.
When Regina's mother heads off to hunt, she tells her little dinosaur: stay in the nest and be mama's good little carnivore. But just who is she calling little?! Regina is big! And she has all the tools to hunt herself: a fear-inducing predator stare, a terrifying roar, and an uncanny ability to camouflage. And so Regina sets off on her first real hunt, all alone. ROAR! Along the way, she meets some truly huge dinosaurs, and hilariously, and miserably, fails at catching anything. What if she has to live her life as an.... herbivore?!
Sadie Sprocket is ready to soar!
Sadie Sprocket is a girl with a big dream--to go to Mars! No one has been to Mars (yet!), so of course that's where Sadie sets her sights. She learns everything she can about the planet and space, then assembles her crew of trusty stuffed animals. Together they build a rocket and prepare for the historic journey. And then finally--blastoff!
Sadie and her team make it to Mars, but what will they encounter when they leave the ship? And will they travel home safely as the world watches?
Jeff the bear has definitely forgotten something. He ate his breakfast, he watered his plant, he combed his fur...what could it be? Why does he feel so oddly off? So he asks his friend Anders the rabbit what could possibly be wrong. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that he's wearing underwear...over his fur...could it?
In the 1970s, nestled between the newly completed Twin Towers in New York City, a Callery pear tree was planted. Over the years, the tree provided shade for people looking for a place to rest and a home for birds, along with the first blooms of spring.
On September 11, 2001, everything changed. The tree’s home was destroyed, and it was buried under the rubble. But a month after tragedy struck, a shocking discovery was made at Ground Zero: the tree had survived.
Dubbed the “Survivor Tree,” it was moved to the Bronx to recover. And in the thoughtful care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Callery pear was nursed back to health. Almost a decade later, the Survivor Tree returned home and was planted in the 9/11 Memorial to provide beauty and comfort...and also hope.
This is the story of that tree—and of a nation in recovery. Told from the tree’s perspective, This Very Tree is a touching tribute to first responders, the resilience of America, and the restorative power of community.